Social media is well-known as a powerful marketing tool, and it’s likely that your brand is already utilising a variety of platforms. The volume of consumers on social media continually increases year-on-year, and the presence of brands on these platforms does the same.
When you hear ‘social media marketing’ you may immediately think of paid ads**. This is one aspect of marketing on these platforms, but it isn’t the only method. The best marketing strategies take multiple elements into account to create the perfect cocktail.
In order for your social media strategy to be as effective as possible, you need to know where your consumers are, what they want to see and what you need to do to please them.
Is social media overtaking SEO?
This may seem like a silly question, but Google’s own data shows that almost 40% of young people turn to TikTok or Instagram before a search engine. Often this is to search for brands or products, but Gen Z also uses social media platforms to search for tutorials, explanations and activities.
87%* of social media marketers think that consumers will search for brands on social media more often than search engines in 2023, so it’s more important than ever that your brand has a strong online presence.
Make sure your brand is easy to find on social media. Keep your username consistent across all platforms and include relevant keywords and hashtags in all of your posts and the bio of your page. If a consumer is searching for something that you offer, you want them to find you first.
I highly doubt that social media is going to overtake SEO, but you should optimise both to appeal to each type of search.
The ‘top dog’ platforms for marketers
There are 4.76 billion social media users worldwide, and a vast range of platforms that they may be present on.
As of January 2023, the most popular platform was Facebook with 2,958 million active users. This was followed by YouTube with 2,514 million users and Instagram with 2,000 million. This leads to no surprise that Facebook is the most used social media platform by marketers, followed by Instagram.
Knowing that a platform is popular isn’t enough to build your marketing strategy around. You need to be confident that your target audience is there too. Here’s a brief breakdown of Facebook and Instagram demographics as of January 2023.
- 56% of users are male
- 44% of users are female
- The most prevalent age range on the platform is 25-34 (29.9%)
- The surrounding ages are also in high proportion: 18-24 (21.5%) and 35-44 (19.4%)
- The younger generation is few and far between on the platform: 13-17 (4.8%)
- 51.7% of users are male
- 48.4% of users are female
- Ages 18-34 are most present on the platform: 18-24 (30.8%) and 25-34 (30.3%)
- Older generations are lesser found: 55-64 (4.3%) and 65+ (2.6%)
Building a community on social media
A good social media strategy isn’t just about creating a strong online presence: consumers want to relate to your brand. Creating an online community is a great way to increase brand awareness, as well as loyalty and trust. Users are more likely to interact and engage within a community that they feel comfortable with and connected to.
Research* found that 90% of social media marketers believe that building an active online community will be critical to success in 2023 and that the best platforms to build a community on are, once again, Facebook and Instagram.
So, how can you build a community on social media? I’ve already mentioned the importance of knowing where your audience is online. If your target demographic is more prevalent on Instagram than Facebook, then Instagram will be the best platform to utilise. This doesn’t mean that you should disregard all of the other platforms, as the average social media user visits 7.2 platforms every month. You may have a particular platform where you place a higher focus, but you should have a presence on every relevant platform.
You need to consider what your audience likes, wants and needs. This should all be taken into consideration when creating your content. Consumers want content that is engaging, and you should make sure that everything you share is relevant to your brand and provides some sort of value to your audience. This ‘value’ could simply be entertainment, but you could also share tips and insights. Ask questions and run polls, contests or giveaways to incite engagement and encourage user-generated content. Your content should be valuable enough that your audience wants to share it with others, increasing your reach. Be sure to use relevant hashtags to further increase your reach – new consumers may find your brand simply through a hashtag, so they shouldn’t be forgotten.
Listen to your community and be reactive. Respond to all comments and messages in a timely manner, taking any feedback on board. This community may be about your brand, but you need to make it about the audience too. Give the people what they want.
Use social media analytics tools to track relevant metrics. With this information, you can adjust and optimise your strategy accordingly for greater success.
The best type of social media content
Obviously, the best type of content will differ between brands and platforms, but consumers have preferences and these shouldn’t be ignored.
The want for short-form video content has been consistently growing. Video-sharing platform, YouTube, sits as the second most popular social media platform. YouTube launched YouTube Shorts in September 2020, providing users with a quick and easy way to upload and consume short-form videos.
This release was a response to the rapid growth of TikTok, another video-sharing platform. During early 2020, TikTok saw a staggering 180% growth among ages 18-25. The platform went on to be the most downloaded app of 2021 as users across the globe flocked in the masses to consume short and snappy video content. YouTube isn’t the only contender releasing features for short-form videos, Meta-owned Instagram and Facebook also followed suit, introducing Reels in 2020.
If this isn’t enough to convince you of the importance of video content, Wyzowl conducted research into video marketing in 2022 with a sample group of both online consumers and video marketers. Here are some of the key findings:
- 91% of people said that they want to see more online videos from brands in 2023
- 89% of people say that watching a video has convinced them to buy a product or service
- 51% of people are more likely to share videos with their family, friends and followers than other types of content
- 95% of marketers said that video marketing has increased their brand awareness
- 91% of marketers said that video marketing has increased traffic to their site
- 90% of marketers said that video marketing has helped generate leads
Clearly, video marketing can be an effective asset to your marketing strategy, but remember to give your audience variety when it comes to content.
E-commerce boomed throughout the pandemic when people physically couldn’t go out to a shop to make a purchase, but it hasn’t slowed. Younger generations tend to prioritise making online purchases over going into a physical store, so if your brand appeals to this audience, you need to keep up.
Of course, if your brand has a product to sell, you likely already have a website that consumers can order from, or be selling through a third-party site like Amazon. But social commerce is rising in popularity and you don’t want to be left behind.
The key platforms I’ve repeatedly mentioned all have in-build e-commerce facilities to help you sell directly from the app and are also the platforms offering the highest ROI when selling products directly in the app* (Facebook and Instagram). Visual platforms are the ideal place for selling products as you can promote with eye-catching and engaging content and include a direct link for consumers to seal the deal. 80%* of social media marketers say consumers buy products directly within social apps, more often than on a brand’s site, so if you’re already making waves on social media, you’d be silly not to jump on the social commerce bandwagon.
There’s no cut-and-dry solution for social media marketing. If every brand was doing the same thing, no one would be succeeding. You may need to work with trial and error before you find what strategy works best for your brand. Stay up-to-date with what your competitors are doing, and don’t be afraid to think outside the box.
If you need help with your social media strategy (or any other aspect of your digital marketing!) contact us to find out how we can help.
**Learn more about paid social ads here: